Elizabeth Olsen has one very fair complaint about her Avengers costume
In the last twenty years, the world has changed a lot for young women. Gone are the days when all little girls were expected to grow up to become ballerinas and housewives and teachers; now we're seeing more female scientists, firefighters and politicians than ever before. Hurrah! Isn't progress great?!
However, while real-life might be telling us that we can do anything we set our mind to, it seems Hollywood hasn't necessarily caught up yet. Case in point: the portrayal of female superheroes. Because while we may be seeing more bad-ass women on our screens than ever before, it's no stretch to say that we still don't seem to have entirely shifted away from the presentation of them as sex-symbols.
Now, actress Elizabeth Olsen, who plays the female superhero in her latest film, Avengers: Infinity War, has put her two-cents worth into the debate, revealing to Elle magazine that if it was up to her, her character's costume would be a little less revealing: "It would just not be a cleavage corset. I like corsets, but I'd like it to be higher."
Comparing her outfits to those of her co-stars and fellow female superheroes, she said: "Everyone has these things that cover them—Tessa Thompson does, Scarlett [Johansson] does," adding: “I would like to cover up a bit." The two actresses, who play Valkyrie and Black Widow respectively, are both depicted with considerably higher necklines throughout the film.
And apparently, the outfit didn't go unnoticed on set either: "It's funny because sometimes I look around and I'm just like — ‘wow, I'm the only one who has cleavage,’ and that's a constant joke because they haven't really evolved my superhero costume that much." She did, however, concede that it could have been worse, saying of the costume in the original Marvel comic books that “it was a leotard and a headband.”
Reflecting on why she thought that there was still such a gulf between how female superheroes are seen and how real women dress, she commented: "I think of the costumes and what we have to wear — it’s more about iconic images, because that's what these movies are," going on to add: "I think that's the goal with the costumes, and it's not representing the average woman."
The little sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the 29-year-old has actually been acting since she was just four-years-old and got her big break in the thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene, which was about a woman returned to her family from a cult. Avengers: Infinity War is the fourth Marvel film she has worked on, having first appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier back in 2014.
But it isn't the first time Elizabeth has stood up against the objectification of women and the false stereotypes they are often expected to conform to. Ahead of the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Olsen took to Instagram to blast a photoshopped Empire magazine cover with the words: “Does this look like me?” Mysteriously, she has since deleted her tweet.
Boobs or no boobs, the latest Avenger film is set to be one to watch, having received rave reviews from critics and fans, and earning itself an impressive 9.1 IMDB rating. Next time though, it would be nice if we could have a woman just being epic, without needing to be sexualized at the same time.